Cave Encounter

The Cove of Argostoli cannot be reached by any of the main routes, but I am determined to continue my exploration of the island. As my taxi approaches the end of the dirt road, I noticed that there is only one other car parked. I step out with some apprehension, wondering how I would get back to the center of town. It is unlike me to not plan a return trip. “Long time no see!” I turned around and saw Gianni’s face. His caramel blonde hair seemed more voluptuous than last time I had seen him, but the gentle smile on his face was still the same. I had met him at the island’s airport when I was trying to catch a cab. We merely managed to introduce ourselves before we both went on our way. “Ah, you’re the one other person that came here!” As we hug each other I feel like I am meeting an old friend. I tell him that I had heard about the cave and became curious about it.

The seaside cave I have come to see is considered a sacred site by some of the inhabitants of the island, as Gianni tells me, and apparently it’s not easy to reach either. Gianni promises that all I have to do is follow his lead. A sudden trust into somebody I have met only recently. I feel more daring, less calculated, more risky, less apprehensive. “Just be ready to jump!”, Gianni says as he abruptly dives into the water and begins swimming. No time to ask questions. I see him swimming about eight meters in front of me and I know I will have to be fast if I want to catch up. The waves become larger as we continue, and I suddenly realize that the rocks to our right had moved into the distance.

 

We finally reach the shore on the other side. “We have to climb up. I’ll go first and then I’ll help you.” Gianni grabs hold of the stones and jumps up in one single motion. I can tell he’s lived on the island for a long time. He reaches out his hand to pull me up and right then and there, we find ourselves above the entrance to the cave. The waves flowing in and against the entrance were violent. “I suppose this is where I have to jump…”. My voice must have revealed noticeable dread. “It’s not too bad, just about five meters” Gianni remarks as he looks at me with a smirk in his face. I count till five and jump. He follows so closely that for a second I think he will hit my leg in the water. We swim into the cave. What I now experience is best described as brief moments of quiet interchanged with the sound of violent waves crashing against the walls. An acoustic chamber where silence and sound meet each other. It is the first time in my life that I find myself in a dangerous place I never want to leave.